A decade has passed since the Arab Spring. Most of the uprising people all over the Arab spring countries are convinced that their spring has failed. That chaos and turmoil still hit those societies and their countries, and the observers have been further bewildered by the US administration’s announcement of its withdrawal from Afghanistan after two-year negotiations with Taliban movement. With this withdrawal, the US has thrown over an effort that lasted about twenty years and cost the US administration more than 2 trillion dollars. The US had also suffered human losses as about 2,500 American soldiers died there, and nearly 4,000 American civilian contractors were killed.
It is true that the US administration left Afghanistan up for grabs to the Taliban, but at the same time, they left a very disturbing situation for Afghan society and neighboring countries such as Russia, China and even Iran. Therefore, the Taliban’s doctrine and history makes us never bet that they will change their skin, and who ever thinks that they have changed their politics and religious convictions, it is like betting that a fox might have a religion one day.
Uncle Sam seems to have come to the conclusion that the process of changing these societies that have Islamic majority controlled by the political Islam culture with its various schools, Sunni and Shiite towards democracy must be from the inside not to be imposed from outside. This means that Uncle Sam has changed his policy strategy in dealing with the region and has not withdrawn! As it seems at first glance!
The American administration has become certain that trying to raise two or three generations on democracy through power in our miserable, East has been neither useful nor successful! This strategy has not led to the desired change for those societies and countries towards the true democracy. Moreover, the policy drawn by Bill Clinton’s administration when he came to the White House paid an attempt to introduce democracy to those societies and countries, but it gradually failed! It did not achieve the desired results. The democratic transition in those countries has still not occurred yet, especially after the events of September 2001.
Clinton’s administration has proceeded to achieve democracy in Muslim-majority societies in three directions:
The first one was putting pressure on the tyrannical regimes in our wretched east in order to release the political prisoners. This actually happened in several eastern countries.
The second strategy was pushing the tyrannical regimes, as well as their military institution to accept political Islam participating, even temporarily, in the three authorities of those countries. For instance, in Turkey, the Turkish military establishment agreed, in 1996, for the first time to pass a coalition government between the Islamist Welfare Party led by Necmettin Erbakan and the liberal True Path Party led by Tansu Çiller.
The third was to promote a media industry that allows the other opinion to emerge and present its vision for a solution in order to reach oppressed communities. At this point, the stage of learning about democracy had begun, and at the head of these media institutions was Al-Jazeera, which began broadcasting in November 1996 and put forward its famous slogan, “The Opinion and the Other Opinion.”
However, this American Democrats’ attempt collided with the events of 11th September in 2001. These events reinforced Republicans’ opinion to prevail and that the Islamist mind in general and the Salafist mind particularly must first be changed, even if America had to take military measures. This is exactly what happened in Iraq during the Bush Sr. administration by changing Saddam Hussein’s regime and replacing it with a democratic one. The same was for the administration of Bush Jr. in Afghanistan after the events of September.
The New American Strategy
The new American administration has come to a conclusion that the process of democratization of those countries imbued with the concepts of political Islam will not be succeeded. A journalist’s asked John Brennan, the former director of US intelligence during Obama’s era, three weeks before his departure from office. “Why doesn’t the US administration take serious measures to stop the bloodshed in Syria,” the journalist asked. “I think the war and chaos in that region will last about 30 years” Brennan answered.
Off course, by that he refers to the Thirty-Year War that erupted in Europe as a result of sectarian wars. Despite the long -running bloody wars devastating those countries, at the end, they moved Europe to a new stage where the warring European mind was convinced that the concept of a religious, sectarian or doctrinal state was a major cause of those wars. Thus, heading to the stage of the nation-state was necessities, which put Europe on renaissance path so that it would reach the citizenship state later, through the famous Treaty of Westphalia in Germany.
It can be seen that when the European mind threw the religious and sectarian culture and made a brave Christian compromise, the European societies were shifted to a new stage, in which the culture of democracy had been properly established until it reached this civil and human rights in the form we see today. This is what the Islamists must understand and, according to the American vision, it seems that they will not believe in this transformation until they go through this chaotic war. The stage of democratic culture will be established after a tragedy, at the end of which everyone reaches the fact that they should abandon clinging to the past ideas in establishing states on a religious or sectarian basis.
This means that we are applying the theory of “Creative Chaos”, which is a political/doctrinal term that means formatting a political situation after a deliberate chaos stage. Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State, first proposed it in early 2005 during a press interview with Washington Post, to form what is known as the “New Middle East”.
Creative chaos is a state of chaos prevailing in a certain system in a certain field and leads to positive and creative results. From the point of view of this theory supporters, innovation and development require both freedom and randomness in order to generate new alternatives because in a specific and accurate system, nothing new can be created. Advocates of this hypothesis believe that creating chaos and instability will necessarily lead to establishing a new political order, which guarantees security, prosperity and freedom.
Whereupon, this Islamist mind would throw the theories that they have been raised on since the Islamic Caliphate was fallen, which was implanting the political Islam in their culture and behavior.
A new generation of these Muslim societies would emerge rejecting political Islam theories attributed to Islam – which is in fact a religion of preaching, not of a state. In addition, the theories of political Islam have been brought to failure, chaos and destruction, and are now no longer valid for this era.
Hence, those unbeliever generations in Islamic experiences would adopt the four basic American theses on which the modern state is based, as the US administration sees. These theses represented by democracy, which includes citizenship and human rights, Secularism, Liberalism and the nation state.
Will we be witnessing chaos and protracted civil wars in Afghanistan, instability and tragedies in Syria and the same in Tunisia and elsewhere?